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Conversations With American Writers: The Doubt, the Faith, the In-Between [Paperback]

By Dale Brown (Author)
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Item description for Conversations With American Writers: The Doubt, the Faith, the In-Between by Dale Brown...

Postmodernity has shoved a stick through the spokes of any story that tries to take us somewhere. With postmodern literary theory insistent that a story can mean nothing, serious writers see their seriousness linked to maintaining the position that their fictions have no particular point. How can a literary work without a message inform our faith? Dale Brown here collects the stories of many contemporary writers whose work does carry meaning and message. Though perhaps not the normal fare on the shelves of many Christian bookstores, their works nonetheless have much truth to tell in their wrestle with the sacred. Some of them begin with the problems they have with faith, while others are deeply enmeshed in their beliefs but take atypical ways of expressing it through their writing. Following Brown's earlier collection, Of Faith and Fiction, these conversations with popular American writers offer a new dialogue in considering the power of art to sustain faith in unexpected ways.

Publishers Description
For years, Dale Brown has interviewed American writers, listening particularly for what they have to say about "wrestling with the sacred" in their writing. In this book, a follow-up to his earlier collection, Of Fiction and Faith, Brown gives readers the opportunity to listen in on his thoughtful conversations with ten contemporary writers.

While many of these authors shy away from being labeled "Christian" writers, they all have much truth to tell through their work as they struggle with expressing both faith and doubt. The conversations recorded here offer a fresh dialogue on the power of art to sustain faith in unexpected ways.

Interviews with: Eleanor Taylor Bland, David James Duncan, Terence Faherty, Ernest Gaines, Philip Gulley, Ron Hansen, Silas House, Jan Karon, Sheri Reynolds, Lee Smith.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Conversations With American Writers: The Doubt, the Faith, the In-Between by Dale Brown has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Publishers Weekly - 01/28/2008 page 59

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   318
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.84"
Weight:   1.02 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 14, 2008
ISBN  0802862284  
ISBN13  9780802862280  

Availability  0 units.

More About Dale Brown

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dale Brown is a former captain in the U.S. Air Force. He lives in Nevada, where he can often be found high in the sky, piloting his own plane. He is the author of ten previous novels, all of them "New York Times" bestsellers.

"From the Paperback edition."

Dale Brown currently resides in Lake Tahoe, in the state of Nevada. Dale Brown was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Faith
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Philosophical Theology

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Reviews - What do customers think about Conversations With American Writers: The Doubt, the Faith, the In-Between?

A Literary Detective Explores the Spiritual Stories Behind the Novels  Jul 16, 2008
Dale Brown - and, no, this is not the Dale Brown who writes military thrillers - has dedicated his life to exploring the spiritual lives of America's literary greats. For decades as a Professor of English at Calvin College in the Midwest, Dale developed this vocation until a Who's Who of major writers were joining the pilgrim's path to Calvin once or twice a year to participate in Dale's creative - and sometimes provocative -- festivals of faith and writing.

You may have his earlier volume on your shelf already, "Of Fiction and Faith." That's a wonderful collection of Dale's earlier interviews with writers. I've often pulled my copy down from the shelf to recall how this author - or that author - turned a particular phrase about our vocations as writers. That first volume included some big-time heavyweights in the mix: Frederick Buechner, Garrison Keillor and Walter Wangerin among them.

In his new volume, there are a couple of popularly celebrated names - Philip Gulley and Jan Karon in particular are sometimes tagged with the adjective "beloved" and their novels show up in people's living rooms wherever I wander these days. But, I recommend this new collection of Dale's interviews not so much for Gulley or Karon - but as a kind of skeleton key unlocking the spiritual stories behind the novels of some really interesting writers who have not become such loveable household names.

The first chapter I read was Dale's conversation with the challenging novelist Ron Hansen - a Catholic writer whose works range from deeply disturbing historical novels, like "Hitler's Niece," to achingly inspirational stories like his new book, "Exiles."

My second choice in the book was the chapter with Ernest Gaines, whose most famous works are "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and "A Lesson Before Dying." Born in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, Gaines left the South before his teens. Nevertheless, like so many great Southern writers, he remains rooted in that place.

What Dale is able to pull out of these writers is further guidance from them into the places, the images, the experiences, the spiritual windows that keep pulling and pushing their work.

In the interview with Gaines, here's a passage in which Dale prompts the novelist to describe his Baptist roots. Gaines says, "I was baptized as a Baptist, baptized in the same river that I write about, the same river where we'd fish and wash our clothes. We washed our souls in that same river."

Wow. After reading those words, I feasted for a whole day on that language and imagery.

You won't read this book in a single gulp - but there's much to savor here over time.

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